December 31, 2022



(Syndication, September 23, 1995-March 30, 1996)
DiC Productions L.P., Hasbro



Mark Griffin – Action Man/Matthew Exler
Dale Wilson – Action 2/Knuck Williams
Joely Collins – Action 3/Natalie Poole
Richard Cox – Jacques
Iris Quinn – Vira
Garry Chalk – Action Command/Secretary General Norris
Rolf Leenders – Doctor X/Dorian Exler


1964 saw the debut of the original G.I. Joe action figure from Hasbro. The figure was a 12-inch mannequin-like doll with multiple points of articulation made to represent the four branches of the American military (for more on that figure, check out the entry for G.I. Joe: Sigma 6). That same year, Hal Belton, Sales Director for Hasbro’s United Kingdom licensee Palitoy, returned from the United States with one of the action figures for his grandson. Seeing how well he liked it, Belton proposed to his company the idea of importing the concept over there. General Manager Miles Fletcher and Production Director Brian Wybrow met with Hasbro during 1965’s New York Toy Fair and acquired samples to conduct some market research; which included giving some to employees to take him to their children to test. Like Hasbro before them, Palitoy alleviated concerns over boys playing with “dolls” by banning the word when discussing it in favor of the newly-coined phrase “action figure”. Confident enough to move forward, a licensing deal was struck with Hasbro and the new name Action Man was chosen.

Action Man launched in 1966 and was like G.I. Joe in everything but name, complete with additional uniforms and accessories that could be purchased to dress up each figure. They proved a hit, with Palitoy unable to keep up with the demand at first and being forced to import Canadian Joes to cover their shortfalls. Much as Joe was moving away from its militaristic roots due to fallout from the Vietnam War, Action Man began his own move towards decidedly more British themes in 1970 by including adventurers and sportsmen. To distinguish it from its American counterpart, Palitoy included a wider array of uniform options and also began making changes to the figure itself throughout the 70s. They introduced flocked hair, conceived by Director of Design Bill Pugh, and hands that could better hold accessories and items, based on chief designer Bob Brechin’s own hand; both of which soon made their way over to Joe (the latter better known as “kung-fu grip”). Action Man would adopt Joe’s new “eagle eye” mechanic, which allowed the eyes to be moved back and forth. As they needed to replace their aging molds, an entirely new body was created for Action Man in 1978; doing away with any metal parts for safety and giving him a more muscular physique. Two more additions followed: new talking figures were made, upgrading the ones from the late 60s, and a “sharpshooter” head could pivot upwards for a realistic shooting position (sharpshooter was also applied to an attachment that could allow the soccer version of Action Man to realistically kick the ball). It was awarded the prestigious “Toy of the Decade” by the National Association of Toy Retailers.

As was the case overseas, toy production in the 80s began to favor the 3.75-inch size for figures for their cheaper production and greater allowance for accessories, vehicles and playsets that would prove too expensive and unwieldly at the original scale. They launched a new toyline in 1982 called Action Force, which were smaller scale versions of the earlier Action Man figures with an adapted Star Wars Death Star playset (Kenner, who produced the Star Wars toys, was also owned by Palitoy’s owner General Mills at this time, and Palitoy had the distribution rights for Star Wars toys in the UK). The new toys proved a hit and a storyline was conceived about the good guys—strike team SAS, infantry backbone Z Force, nautical operations Q Force and the eyes and ears Space Force—fighting against a terrorist foe, The Red Shadows (similarly to the Joes vs. Cobra storyline of their American counterparts). General Mills, looking to cut costs, opted to end the original Action Man line in 1984 as Action Force was cheaper to make and didn’t require paying Hasbro a licensing fee. Ironically, the Action Force line would end up becoming nothing more than an avenue to re-release G.I. Joe toys under both names.

By 1991, Hasbro had come to own Palitoy through a series of acquisitions, and as the Joe line had experienced its own resurgence, they decided to try and see if Action Man could have the same. In 1992, four new figures were released under the Action Man name; however, they were just repackaged Joe Hall of Fame figures. The following year, an all-new line with an all-new backstory was released, moving away from the realistic military motif it had originated with into more fantasy-oriented action and adventure with an extreme sports slant (like rollerblading and bungee jumping). The new Action Man was in a battle against the deadly Dr. X and his minions, such as No-Face and Professor Gangrene. The new line moved away from the accessory-heavy model of the earlier lines and came with increasingly permanent outfits and a set amount of included weaponry with each figure. The only thing retained from the original was the battle scar on his cheek; an innovation from the original Joe figures to allow them to trademark the head design.

Action Man.

Hasbro had previously tried to take another page out of the Joe playbook by commissioning the production of an animated pilot through DiC Productions in 1986. However, there was little interest in it. But now that the line was back, and with its 30th anniversary on the horizon, Hasbro and DiC revisited the idea with a new animated series centered on the storyline for the new toys developed by Bob Forward and Phil Harnage, and distributed by Bohbot Entertainment.

Dr. X.

Action Man was Matthew Exler (Mark Griffin), an orphan adopted by esteemed rocket scientist and wealthy inventor Dr. Alfred Exler. He and his older stepbrother, Dorian (Rolf Leenders), were both geniuses and science prodigies. However, Dorian was a born psychopath and set a fire that killed their parents. While Matthew was sent off to the finest European boarding schools, Dorian used his inherited wealth to set up his own para-military terrorist organization, The Council of Doom, staffed by mercenaries called “Skullmen”, after the skull design on their face shields. He proceeded to eliminate all records of Dorian and became the mysterious Dr. X.

The untrustworthy Ursula.

Matthew, tormented by the guilt of the belief that he was the cause of their parents’ deaths, sought inner peace with a bizarre cult he discovered called the Akesh Maharishis in the Himalayas. Over three years he studied their ways of physical conditioning, survival techniques, martial arts, yoga and meditation. By excelling in his training, he earned the coveted “A.M.” tattoo of the cult. His mediation also led him to the realization that it was his brother, not him, responsible for their parents’ deaths and set out to bring his brother to justice. He infiltrated his organization in order to bring it down from within. Complications arose when he fell for one of his fellow recruits, Ursula. However, he was forced to blow his cover to save the lives of the peace-keeping Action Team during an encounter.

Captured by X and his legions.

A combination of a concussion and Dr. X’s psychotropic drugs robbed Matthew of his memory. Learning of Matthews intents and condition, Dr. X had all trace of Matthew erased from the records in order to keep him from ever recovering his memory and threatening his plans. Seeing some value in Matthew, he’s convinced to join Action Team under the codename “Action Man” to help them stop Dr. X’s plans in return for their help in restoring his memories.

The Action Team: Jacques, Natalie, R.A.I.D., Knuck and Action Man.

Most of this backstory never made it to the screen and only existed in the show’s bible. The parts of it that did were brought about by a flash of memory Action Man would receive whenever he faced certain events or encountered certain people, like Ursula. Newly created for the show was Action Man’s team, comprised of the gymnastic Natalie, callsign Action 3 (Joely Collins); brawler and bomb expert Knuck (Dale Wilson), callsign Action 2; Jacques (Richard Cox), a genius in a technologically advanced wheelchair; and Secretary General Norris (Garry Chalk), callsign Action Command, a member of the World Security Council and their direct overseer. Additionally, they had a dog named R.A.I.D. (Randomly Acquired Intelligent Dog), who was once under Dr. X’s control. On top of their natural skills, the Action Team was equipped with a variety of gadgetry to help them best their foes and get out of tight scrapes. In a stock launch sequence, they all slid down into the waiting Jet Xtreme and took off from the orbiting Space Station Xtreme towards whatever emergency they faced.

Professor Gangrene.

Along with Dr. X and his army of Skullmen, there was Professor Gangrene (David Hay). He was a master scientist whose name came from the fact he was infected by so many diseases. Ursula, despite having affections for Action Man, was loyal to Dr. X and continually used their past to lure him into traps. She was a deadly hand-to-hand fighter and an expert marksman.

Jet Xtreme departing the space station.

Action Man debuted on September 23, 1995 in syndication as part of Bohbot’s Amazin’ Adventures programming block. Interestingly enough, the series wasn’t allowed to air in Action Man’s native UK due to laws forbidding the airing of shows based on toys (shows that eventually got toys were fine). The series was written by Forward, Harnage, Greg Johnson, Michael A. Medlock, Jess Winfield, Bruce Shelly, Reed Shelly, Wendy Reardon, Jules Dennis, Gildart Jackson, Jeff Kwitny, Brooks Wachtel, Michael O’Mahony and Kim Rawl, with Forward and Harnage serving as story editors. Character designs were handled by James Cross, Rob Davies and Louie Escauriaga, with music composed by Stephen C. Marston. Point Animation provided the animation.

Live-action Action Man talking into his wrist communicator.

Each episode featured three live-action sequences filed at Universal Studios Hollywood and Florida, making full use of their stunt show sets. The first would be a cold open featuring Action Man (also Griffin) on an unrelated mission from the main story, tussling with Skullmen and foiling Dr. X’s (also Leenders) plans. At the end of an episode, Action Man would slip on a virtual reality suit and helmet and strap into a computer named Vira (Iris Quinn) to analyze an unlocked memory. The sequence was all stock footage and Action Man spoke in voiceover. Finally, Action Man would appear to speak directly to the audience to deliver a pro-social message about things like recycling, exercising and making mistakes. These segments were written by Diane M. Fresco and Julie Fuller. Jeff Pruitt served as both their director and stunt coordinator.

Action Man in Vira examining his latest memory.

Action Man only lasted a single season of 26 episodes (although, many places declare it was broken up into two seasons of 13-episodes each), continuing on in reruns through 1998. Had the series continued, there were plans to pick things up with Action Team being disbanded now that Dr. X was seemingly defeated. Action Man would’ve done some adventuring where he would meet Sir Arthur Strong who had some knowledge of his parents and past. A crossover with G.I. Joe Night Force would have occurred (which later happened in 2004 as a Toys ‘R’ Us-exclusive action figure 6-pack), and Action Team would have been eventually reassembled with the addition of new characters. Instead, an all-new Action Man CGI cartoon was released in 2000 with a new version of the titular hero.

Natalie and Action Man's cameos in Revolutionaries #7.

Knuck and Natalie received their own action figures as part of the Action Man toyline; Knuck’s having a different body type than the rest of the line with a punching action and Natalie being given shorter hair to allow for full neck movement and a kicking action. Natalie was given a second 3.75” figure in 2010 by the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club during GIJoeCon. That same year, she would appear as a member of Action Force in Fun Publication’s G.I. Joe Versus Cobra #3In 2017, she and Action Man made a cameo appearance in IDW Publishing’s Revolutionaries #7 as part of  “Team Extreme”, the name taken from the 2000 Action Man cartoon.

Action Man complete series DVD.

In the UK, 14 VHS tapes containing 2-3 episodes each were released by Abbey Home Entertainment, and later Just Entertainment, between 1996 and 2004. Abbey would also release six DVDs between 2002 and 2005, with two more from Prism Leisure between 2005 and 2006. They contained a mix of new and previously-released episodes out of order. In the United States, Lions Gate Home Entertainment and Trimark Home Video released two VHS tapes with 2 episodes, each in 2001. All four episodes were combined onto the DVD Secret of Action Man, which released on the same day as the VHS that shared its name. In 2003, Sterling Entertainment released the DVD Action Man: Space Wars, which re-released the episodes “Skynap” and “Space Wars” along with two new ones. Neither DVD featured the live-action segments. In 2015, Mill Creek Entertainment released the complete series to DVD as part of their “Retro TV Toons” series. This was the first time every episode had been put onto DVD.


EPISODE GUIDE (NOTE: Some sources vary between it being one or two seasons):
“Explosive Situation” (9/23/95) – Action Man is lured into Dr. X’s trap by Ursula with the threat of a nuclear bomb.
Live Mission: Cut off Dr. X’s fuel supply in the North Sea.
“Fountain of Youth” (9/30/95) – Dr. X captures a group of scientists to make use of their regenerative extract herb and get a fortune in the resulting youth serum.
Live Mission: Invade Dr. X’s New York City headquarters.
“Cybersoldier” (10/7/95) – A KGB android Dr. X sends under the guise of Action Man’s old friend seemingly kills him in the encounter.
Live Mission: Contain radioactive waste in Madagascar.
“You Can’t Go Home Again” (10/14/95) – While trying to uncover some old memories, Action Man and Natalie must free a village being held hostage by Dr. X and save the Xtreme Station.
Live Mission: Disable Megamind Computer in Sri Lanka.
“Ancient History” (10/21/95) – Natalie’s uncle seems to be in charge of the team of miners excavating for Dr. X.
Live Mission: Destroy a weapons factory in Alice Springs, Australia.
“The Red Plague” (10/28/95) – Dr. X steals a beaker of a deadly virus and kidnaps the scientist that developed its cure.
Live Mission: Cut off Dr. X’s arms supply in Edinburgh, Scotland.
“Peril at Perigee” (11/4/95) – Dr. X hijacks a stealth bomber and plans to launch its payload from the European Space Agency base with Jacques as a hostage.
Live Mission: Liberate Quark Plate in the Cayman Islands.
“Rogue Moons” (11/11/95) – Action Man braves the Gobi Desert to stop Dr. X’s rogue moon launcher aimed at Earth’s cities.
Live Mission: Intercept arms shipment in Morocco, North Africa.
“Hands Down” (11/18/95) – Dr. X kidnaps and brainwashes an ambassador to set up Action Team, resulting in Knuck and Natalie being arrested.
Live Mission: Secure a dam in La Paz, Bolivia.
“We Come in Peace” (11/25/95) – Dr. X uses a stolen anti-gravity device to fake an alien attack on Earth.
Live Mission: Disable a sub station in New Orleans.
“R.A.I.D.” (12/2/95) – Dr. X sends a dog after Action Man, but Jacques ends up adopting him and using him to thwart X’s next scheme.
Live Mission: Disable Dr. X’s signal in Boston.
“Skynap” (12/9/95) – Dr. X takes the Jet Xtreme and Norris to the Action Space Station where he plans to start a major world war.
Live Mission: Secure an experimental serum in Barcelona, Spain.
“The Outside Edge” (12/16/95) – Dr. X manages to frame Norris for corruption and get Action Team disbanded.
Live Mission: Destroy weapon stockpile in Los Angeles.
“The X Factor” (1/6/96) – Gangrene plans to unleash his X-Vitamin steroid into the city’s water supply.
Live Mission: Clear a blockage in Lake Ontario, Canada.
“Ice Age” (1/13/96) – Dr. X steals a device and enough plutonium to eliminate the world’s oceans.
Live Mission: Destroy Dr. X’s new base in the Greek Islands.
“Soul of Evil” (1/20/96) – Ursula begs for Action Man’s help as Dr. X targets her with an assassin that shares Action Man’s voice and tattoo.
Live Mission: Destroy a toxic dump in Alaska.
“Déjà Vu” (1/27/96) – Dr. X’s plans to kidnap the G7 leaders feels unsettlingly familiar to Action Man.
Live Mission: Escape from a prison and expose Dr. X’s plans in Hawaii.
“Satellite Down” (2/3/96) – An important satellite crashes down amongst a hidden Arctic civilization.
Live Mission: Disable a warhead in Moscow, Russia.
“Space Walk” (2/10/96) – Dr. X takes control of a space shuttle with two of the world’s richest men on board.
Live Mission: Secure an armory in Cherbourg, France.
“The Most Dangerous Prey” (2/17/96) – The Action Team must survive against Dr. X and his Overseer robot after Jet Extreme is shot down and they’re all injured in the crash.
Live Mission: Secure top-secret files in Palermo, Sicily.
“Points of Danger” (2/24/96) – The Action Team must protect a special fish from falling into the hands of Dr. X who wants to use its to make a mind control gas.
Live Mission: Retrieve detonators in Marseilles, France.
“Crack of Doom” (3/2/96) – Dr. X saves an isolated island tribe from a volcano, earning their trust so he can turn them against the Action Team and the World Security Council.
Live Mission: Escape from a prison and disable Dr. X’s alarm in Vienna, Austria.
“Space Wars” (3/9/96) – Dr. X distracts the Action Team so he can steal and arm a space shuttle to take over an abandoned space station.
Live Mission: Destroy a warehouse in Birmingham, England.
“Past Performance” (3/16/96) – Dr. X steals a decryption computer in order to crack the codes to launch missiles at strategic targets.
Live Mission: Destroy Dr. X’s unmanned helicopter on the island of Crete.
“A Time for Action: Part 1” (3/23/96) – The Action Team manage to stop Dr. X’s theft of a gold shipment, however one of his robots manages to get past them and snatches the gold anyway.
Live Mission: Rescue a prisoner from a warehouse and escape.
“A Time for Action: Part 2” (3/30/96) – Jacques is forced to abandon his team in an inhospitable environment when Dr. X takes his father and Norris hostage.
Live Mission: Destroy a climate-manipulation device in the Bahamas.

December 10, 2022



(ABC, September 10-December 3, 1983)
Hanna-Barbera Productions


Robert Morse – Moncho
Laurel Page – Kyla
Ellen Gerstell – Tootoo
Frank Welker – Patchitt, various
Frank Nelson – Wizzar
Hank Saroyan – Thumkii
Sidney Miller – Horrg
Bob Arbogast – Snogs
Laurie Faso – Fasit, Yabbot, Scumgor
Peter Cullen – Gonker, Snitchitt, Shreeker


Monchhichi is a doll produced by Sekiguchi Corporation in Japan. Created by Yoshiharu Washino in 1974, the dolls were an update to the already successful Kuta Kuta Monkey (exhausted monkey); combining it with the thumb-sucking Gege fashion doll. The result was a monkey-like plush doll with vinyl faces, hands and feet whose thumbs could be inserted into their mouths and held there. The name was derived from the words “mon”, which means “mine” in Frnech, and “chichi”, which would be the Japanese phonetic pronunciation of the sound suckling on a pacifier would make. As a bonus, the combined name sounded close to “monkey” in English. The creation of the doll was fueled by the desire to “inspire respect and love in the young children and adults.”

The original Monchhichi.

The dolls—a boy and a girl doll with little bibs—hit the market and became a success. By 1977, Sekiguchi expanded the line to include accessories, playsets, outfits and variations of the dolls. Export of the dolls into other countries began in 1975 with Germany and Austria, and gradually picked up steam by 1978 when it reached the rest of Europe. In 1980, the dolls were adapted into the anime Futago no Monchhichi (Monchhichi Twins), further increasing their popularity in Japan.

1980 was also the year that Monchhichis reached North America, with Mattel licensing production of the toyline for the market. To help promote the line, Mattel commissioned Hanna-Barbera Productions to produce an animated series centered around the toys. Hanna-Barbera took on the task seeing it as another cute character series that could potentially help them match the success of The Smurfs over on NBC. Much like The Smurfs, Monchhichis was set at some point in the past with anachronistic technology (such as a catapult-propelled jet plane) made from various plant items (like giant pea pods used as canoes), wood shoots and a few recognizable machinery bits (like metallic gears) with an element of magic included (such as boats that float on air instead of water). The happy-go-lucky creatures lived in harmony with nature and fought against enemies that sought to do them and others harm.

The Monchhichis: Moncho, Patchitt, Tootoo, Kyla, Thumkii and the Wizzar.

The Monchhichis were a race of monkey-like beings that lived in the treetop kingdom of Monchia. Monchia was powered by the magic of happiness, which was generated in a mystical factory called the Happy Works. Monchai was under the leadership of the Wizzar (Frank Nelson), an absent-minded elderly Monchhichi whose magical powers, though diminished with time, could still serve Monchia well. He was typically found in his hut concocting some kind of potion or building some kind of device (all of which often backfired for some reason or other). The primary group of Monchhichis that directly reported to him included Moncho (Robert Morse) and Kyla (Laurel Page), who had an ongoing rivalry over their leadership role in the village and constantly argued over who was more right in various matters; Patchitt (Frank Welker), the village inventor who could whip up any kind of rustic machinery, fix anything, and generally maintained the Happy Works; Tootoo (Ellen Gerstell), who was incredibly sweet and honest to a fault, and constantly described things as being “too, too” of something; and Thumkii, the youngest of the group who was incredibly hyperactive, talked faster than he thought, and was frequently found sucking on his thumb (the only one to emulate the toy’s signature feature). In addition to their respective skills, each Monchhichi’s tail was capable of stretching to great lengths and serving as an additional appendage.

Horrg preparing to use Snogs in his latest scheme.

The primary antagonists were the Grumplins: purple, beastly versions of the Monchhichis whose only goal was to wipe out happiness everywhere and frequently set their sights on disabling the Happy Works. They were led by Horrg (Sidney Miller), the biggest and meanest of them all. Horrg had a magic staff topped with a gem stolen from Wizzar, which fed off the same power as Wizzar’s own staff (and, in turn, was capable of robbing it of all its energy if used to great extent). Horrg’s second-in-command, and the frequent recipient of his wrath when plans went awry, was Snogs (Bob Arbogast), who was the only Grumplin to wear a yellow vest. The main group of Grumplins included Fasit, Yabbot, Scumgor (all Laurie Faso), Gonker, Snitchitt and Shreeker (all Peter Cullen). While loyal to Horrg, their general incompetence tended to allow the Monchhichis to get the best of them every time.

Thumkii traveling through the pipes of the Happy Works.

Monchhichis debuted on ABC on September 10, 1983. Originally it was bundled together in the hour-long package show The Monchhichis/Little Rascals/Richie Rich Show with The Little Rascals and Richie Rich, replacing Pac-Man after it was spun out into its own half-hour. However, due to lower-than-expected ratings (against The Smurfs, no less), Monchhichis was broken off into its own half-hour in January of 1984 for the rest of its run on the network. The series was written by Dick Robbins, Bryce Malek, Bob Langhans, Douglas Booth, Donald F. Glut, Evelyn A-R Gabai, and Larry Parr, with Robbins and Malek serving as story editors. The characters were designed by Sandra Berez and Lee Evans, and the music was composed by Hoyt Curtin and Paul DeKorte.

With these working conditions, no wonder they're Grumplins.

Monchhichis didn’t fare as well in North America as they did abroad; particularly in their native Japan and Germany. The cartoon was ended after a single season, and Mattel ended up dropping the toys by 1985 due to low sales. They eventually found their way back to North America in 2004 for the 30th anniversary and have continued to be regularly sold in various stores.  Two more shows followed: a Japanese stop-motion series in 2005 also called Monchhichiproduced by Kids Station, and a French CGI series called Monchhichi Tribe in 2017 by Technicolor Animation Productions.

The DVD set.

As for the Hanna-Barbera show, reruns would air as part of the USA Cartoon Express in the late 80s. The episode “Tickle Pickle” was included on the compilation DVD Saturday Morning Cartoons: The 1980s from Warner Home Video in 2010, later included in the complete Saturday Morning Cartoons collection, and partially uploaded to Boomerang’s official YouTube channel with trivia tidbits in 2019. The complete series would be released to DVD in 2017 as part of the Hanna-Barbera Classics Collection, made available to purchase on Prime Video, and streamable on Boomerang.


“Tickle Pickle” (9/10/83) – The Monchhichis must find a new tickle crystal to repair the Happy Works after the Grumplins attacked.
“Tootoo Trouble” (9/17/83) – Feeling dejected, Tootoo runs away from Monchia and ends up in the hungry arms of the Crocoville.
“Double Play” (9/24/83) – Horrg sends a disguised Snogs to infiltrate the Monchhichis and sabotage the Happy Works.
“Swamp Secret” (10/1/83) – Going to another village for a magical ingredient leads the Monchhichis into helping a rebellion.
“Dueling Wizzars” (10/8/83) – Feeling he’s too old to be of use, Wizzar takes off and his magic staff causes a cookie version of him to come to life and cause mischief.
“Thumkii’s Pet” (10/15/83) – The baby fuzzbeast Thumkii finds begins to become a hassle for the village as he constantly gets bigger and bigger.
“Misfit Grumplin” (10/22/83) – Melmoth the Grumplin goes to Monchia to help the Monchhichis against Horrg.
“Jingle Pods” (10/29/83) – Teamwork is the only thing that will allow the Monchhichis to be able to retrieve a jingle pod from the forest for the Happy Works’ organ.
“Moncho’s Gift” (11/5/83) – Moncho gives Kyla a magical bracelet that belongs to a witch, who disguises herself as one of them to get it back.
“Cloud City” (11/12/83) – The Monchhichis help Wizzar clear his friend’s name for stealing a key that caused rain to fall on Monchia.
“Helpless Hero” (11/19/83) – The Monchhichis discover their people’s greatest hero may actually be more of a zero.
“Grumpstaff Grief” (11/26/83) – While Horrg works on his latest scheme, Snorgs takes his staff and control of his kingdom—which also results in Wizzar’s powers being drained.
“Charm Alarm” (12/3/83) – Enemies abound as the Moncchichis search for a mystical artifact.



(TV Tokyo, April 5-December 27, 2000 JAP
FOX, September 8, 2001-March 23, 2002 US)
We’ve, Nihon Ad Systems, TV Tokyo, Saban Entertainment (US)


Satoshi Hashimoto (Japanese) – Fire Convoy/Optimus Prime, God Fire Convoy/Omega Prime
Daniel Riordan (English) – Megatron/Galvatron, Omega Prime
Yōichi Kobiyama (Japanese) – Gigatron/Devil Gigatron/Megatron/Galvatron
Masao Harada (Japanese) – Hepter/Ro-Tor, Kenta’s father/Carl’s father, Yoshimoto’s assistant
Sandy Fox (English) – T-AI, Dorie Dutton (1 episode)
Chieko Higuchi (Japanese) – Ai/T-AI, Junko/Kelly
Wayne C. Lewis (English) – Prowl, various
Takayuki Kondō (Japanese) – Mach Alert/Prowl, Danger/Armorhide
Shunta Kobayashi (as Punch UFO) (Japanese) – Speedbreaker/Side Burn
Ryō Naitō (Japanese) – Counter Arrow/Mirage, Goosher/Slapper
Masayuki Kiyama (Japanese) – Brave Maximus/Fortress Maximus, Plasma/Cerebros
Steve Kramer (English) – R.E.V., Cerebros
Kizatomi Nimura (Japanese) – Eagle Killer/R.E.V.
Naomi Matamura (Japanese) – J-Four/Midnight Express
Mike Reynolds (English) – Railspike
Hisashi Izumi (as Shōji Izumi) (Japanese) – JRX/Rail Racer, J-Five/Railspike, Daichi Ōnishi/Dr. Kenneth Onishi
Keith Diamond (English) – Rapid Run
Eiji Takemoto (Japanese) – J-Seven/Rapid Run, Artfire/Hot Shot, Dr. Akashi/Dr. Akase
Michael McConnohie (English) – Hot Shot, Ironhide, Dr. Yoshimoto
Ōsuke Yoda (Japanese) – Ox/Ironhide
Dan Woren (English) – Crosswise, Yoshimoto’s assistant
Junichi Miura (Japanese) – X-Car/Crosswise
Joe Ochman (English) – Hightower
Masami Iwasaki (Japanese) – Build Cyclone/Hightower, Wrekcer Hook/Tow-Line
Tom Wyner (English) – Grimlock
Hiroki Takahashi (Japanese) – Build Hurricane/Grimlock, Guildo/Dark Scream
Atsushi Kondo (as Konta) (Japanese) & Peter Spellos (English) – Gelshark/Sky-Byte
Peter Lurie (English) – Slapper
Norio Imamura (Japanese) & Jerry DeCapua (English) – Gaskunk/Gas Skunk
Richard Epcar (English) – Armorhide
Riki Kitazawa (Japanese) – Greejeeber/Rollbar, Wars/W.A.R.S.
Hidenori Konda (Japanese) & Robert Axelrod (English) – Shuttler/Movor
Philece Sampler (English) – Kelly

At the end of the 20th Century, Beast Wars was the dominant entry in the Transformers franchise. Mainframe Entertainment’s CGI cartoon was a hit in North America and eventually made its way over to Japan as Beast Wars: Super Lifeform Transformers the following year with a decidedly more kid-friendly dub. While waiting for the second and third seasons to be localized, two exclusive Japanese anime entries were made to fill the gap: Beast Wars II and Beast Wars Neo. The American-produced episodes then resumed as Beast Wars Metals. The sequel series, Beast Machines, wouldn’t hit Japan until 2004 under the name Beast Wars Returns.

In the interim, there was another anime produced called Transformers: Car Robots. It was the final entry of the Japanese-exclusive Generation 1 cartoon continuity. Set on Earth at the turn of the century, the evil Gigatron (otherwise known as Megatron, voiced by Yōichi Kobiyama) led his Destronger faction—an elite unit of Predacons—through a dimensional fissure to conquer both our planet and Cybertron. Gigatron was able to further bolster his ranks by taking protoforms (Autobot blank slates, basically the first stage in their lifecycle), time-displaced from several decades in the future, and converting them into Combatrons. Following them to foil their schemes was Fire Convoy (otherwise known as Optimus Prime, voiced by Satoshi Hashimoto) and his Autobot Dimensional Patrol. The anime debuted on TV Tokyo on April 5, 2000 and ran until that December. It was the first Transformers anime to be animated by Animation Studio Gallop and Dong Woo Animation; replacing long-time franchise animators Ashi Productions.

Transtech concept design for Silverbolt.

Over in North America, a follow-up to Beast Machines was in the works called Transtech. It would have featured returning Beast Machines characters Blackarachnia, Cheetor, Nightscream, Silverbolt and Rattrap with the addition of Beast Wars character Depth Charge and Generation 1 characters Optimus Prime, Shockwave and Starscream, as well as all-new character Immorticon. While not much is known about the story, the proposed toy designs by Canadian studio Draxhall Jump saw characters transform into Cybertronic vehicles with animalistic features; such as Cheetor becoming a race car with a paint job reminiscent of a cheetah and Optimus Prime becoming a truck with an ape face on the front end (invoking his Beast Wars counterpart, Optimus Primal). These designs were shown at The Official Transformers Collectors Convention in 2002 before being pulled by Hasbro, and online retailer BigBadToyStore posted preliminary listings for 2001 Transformers offerings that included the proposed characters of the Transtech line.

Megatron, aka Gigatron.

Transtech was eventually scrapped (although the name was recycled several times in the franchise) due to the Beast Machinestoyline’s poor performance, the financial instability being experienced by the company at the time, and the introduction of Brian Goldner as CEO, who wanted a “back to basics” approach to the franchise. It was at this point that Hasbro decided to work directly with Takara (now Takara Tomy), the originators of the Transformers toys, to develop the next entry together for the first time: Transformers: Armada. However, they needed something to keep the franchise fresh in consumers’ minds while they worked. It was decided to import one of the exclusive anime programs and its toyline for the first time; settling on the recently-concluded Car Robots. This would not only mark a return to the roots of the franchise with the Autobots fighting the Decepticons while using realistic modern Earth vehicle forms, but would be the first cel-animated production after five years of strictly computer animation. It would also be the first in this period to not feature a Canadian voice cast.

Optimus Prime.

The localization, renamed Robots in Disguise, took a slightly different approach to the story. In order to stop Megatron (Daniel Riordan) and his Predacons from attacking Earth, Optimus Prime (Neil Kaplan) and the Autobots hid themselves in secret among the human population as common vehicles. Megatron’s opening salvo was to kidnap famous scientist Dr. Kenneth Onishi (first name revealed in episode summaries, Daichi Ohnishi in the anime, voiced by Shōji Izumi & Kirk Thornton), an archaeologist and leading expert on energy (as well as train enthusiast), who held the secret to the locations of ancient Cybertronian O-Parts on Earth. The Autobots would eventually rescue Onishi with the aid of his son, Koji (Yūki in the anime, voiced by Akikio Kimura & Jason Spisak), and the race was on to find the remaining O-Parts and resurrect Fortress Maximus (Brave Maximus in the anime, voiced by Masayuki Kiyama & Steve Blum)—an immense Autobot guardian hidden on Earth to protect it from evil—before the Predacons. 

The Autobot Brothers: Side Burn, Prowl and X-Brawn.

Unlike other iterations of Transformers, the Optimus of Robots in Disguise changed into firetruck rather than a semi. His team of Autobots included several subgroups: the Autobot Brothers, Team Bullet Train, the Spychangers and the Build Team. The Autobot Brothers were Optimus’ three most-trusted allies: X-Brawn (Wild Ride in the anime, voiced by Masahiro Shibahara & Bob Joles), a rough-and-tumble cowboy that turned into a Mercedes-Benz ML320 SUV; Prowl (Mach Alert in the anime, voiced by Takayuki Kondō & Wayne C. Lewis), a strict by-the-book police bot that took it upon himself to keep everyone in line and turned into a Lamborghini Diabolo police highway pursuit vehicle (painted in Japanese police ministry colors); and Side Burn (Speedbreaker in the anime, voiced by Punch UFO & Wally Wingert), who loved being lazy almost as much as sexy red sports cars, and turned into a Dodge Viper

Team Bullet Train: Railspike, Midnight Express and Rapid Run.

Team Bullet Train was a trio of deep-cover operatives that took on the form of Shinkansen bullet trains: leader Railspike (J-Five in the anime, voiced by Izumi & Mike Reynolds), who always tried to lead by example and was often frustrated by his younger teammates, turned into a 500 Series Nozomi; Rapid Run (J-Seven in the anime, voiced by Eiji Takemoto & Keith Diamond), who was the strongest of the three, cool-headed and sarcastic, and always ready for action, turned into a 700 Series Hikari Rail Star; and Midnight Express (J-Four in the anime, voiced by Naomi Matamura & David Lodge), who was easily flustered and had a habit of getting lost and separated from his teammates, transformed into an E4 Series “Max”. All three could merge together to become the powerful Rail Racer (JRX in the anime, also Izumi & Lodge). 

The Spychangers (clockwise from top): Ironhide, R.E.V., Crosswise, W.A.R.S., Mirage and Hot Shot.

The Spychangers were a special team of stealthy ninjas: Hot Shot (Artfire in the anime, voiced by Takemoto & Michael McConnohie), the leader with pyrokinetic abilities and a  gruff, no-nonsense, duty-driven personality that changed into a Porsche 959; R.E.V. (Race Exertion Vehicle, Eagle Killer in the anime, voiced by Kizatomi Nimura & Steve Kramer), the tactical officer with superior leaping skills that could change into a Lamborghini Diablo; Crosswise (X-Car in the anime, voiced by Junichi Miura & Dan Woren), the gravity-manipulating brains of the group that liked to keep busy maintaining and upgrading his teammates when not researching the potential of Spark Engines (a device that would be used to give many of the Autobots a super form that enhanced their particular abilities), and transformed into a rear-engine concept sports car; W.A.R.S. (Wicked Attack Recon Sportscar, simply Wars in the anime, voiced by Riki Kitazawa & Blum), a belligerent and violent bot that could turn into Ford Thunderbird stock car; Ironhide (Ox in the anime, voiced by Ōsuke Yoda & McConnohie), the super strong and short-tempered transport expert that kept his team well-supplied and could turn into a Ford F-150 pickup truck; and Mirage (Counter Arrow in the anime, voiced by Ryō Naitō & Wingert), Ironhide’s best friend—despite being a loner that preferred to work solo—that could drive on almost any surface and make himself invisible, and turned into a Lola T94 Indy Car.

The Build Team: Grimlock, Wedge, Hightower and Heavy Load.

 The Build Team were engineers and architects keeping Autobot technology and their base functional. Wedge (Build Boy in the anime, voiced by Yūki Tamaki & Michael Reisz) was the chief architect and designer of the Global Space Bridge the Autobots used to teleport around the planet quickly. However, he was a hot-head with a strong desire to prove himself in battle, often putting himself in unnecessary harm. He transformed into a bulldozer. Heavy Load (Build Typhoon in the anime, voiced by Yoshikazu Nagano & Darran Norris) was the most powerful member of the team with incredibly thick armor and a proficiency in martial arts. He turned into a dump truck. Hightower (Build Cyclone in the anime, voiced by Masami Iwasaki & Joe Ochman) was the team’s marksman whose weapon of choice, oddly, was an imprecise flamethrower, and who had an incredible admiration for Wedge; acting as both his bodyguard and advisor. He turned into a crane truck. Grimlock (Build Hurricane in the anime, voiced by Hiroki Takahashi & Tom Wyner) was the team’s tactician, most seasoned warrior, and whose rough-looking exterior belied his calm and upbeat demeanor. He turned into a backhoe. The Build Team could all combine into the powerful Landfill (Build King in the anime, also Tamaki & Reisz).

Skid-Z getting a celebratory shower.

Not affiliated with any subgroup were Skid-Z (Indy Heat in the anime, voiced by Jin Nishimura & Michael Lindsay), a Penske PC-18 Indy Car who was extremely fast and extremely competitive with an intense drive for victory, and Tow-Line (Wrecker Hook in the anime, voiced by Iwasaki & Lex Lang), a tow truck with an almost compulsive desire to tow any vehicle away he deemed as not adhering to human traffic laws (including emergency vehicles on a call and children’s bikes). T-AI, or Tractical Artifical Intelligence (Ai in the anime, voiced by Chieko Higuchi & Sandy Fox), was the Autobots’ main computer system in their base that kept tabs on events around the planet and coordinated the Autobot response to them. She projected herself in hologram form as a human woman in a maroon Japanese police uniform. 

Ultra Magnus vs. Optimus Prime.

They would eventually be joined by Ultra Magnus (God Magnus in the anime, voiced by Takashi Matsuyama & Kim Strauss), Optimus’ jealous brother who resented his being given the Matrix of Leadership over him. He initially came to Earth to try and take it by force, but ended up reluctantly joining the Autobots in the battle against the Predacons. He and Optimus could combine into the doubly-powerful Omega Prime (God Fire Convoy in the anime, voiced by Hashimoto & Riordan). Magnus’ alternate form was a car carrier that could transport the Autobot Brothers.

Sky-Byte, Slapper and Dark Scream.

Like Optimus, Megatron forewent his usual transformation into a gun to take on several forms: a giant bat, a two-headed dragon, a jet, a unique-looking racecar, and a giant hand. Eventually, an accident at an ancient location would see Megatron evolve into the more powerful Galvatron (Devil Gigatron in the anime). Megatron’s forces initially consisted of the Predacons, including Slapper (Goosher in the anime, voiced by Ryō Naitō & Peter Lurie), a stealthy dim-witted thug with a cruel sense of humor that turned into a techno-organic toad;  Gas Skunk (similarly Gaskunk in the anime, voiced by Norio Imamura & Jerry DeCapua), a skilled inventor with extensive knowledge of Cybertronian law and computer programming that often managed to mangle large words when he spoke, was a bully and a coward, and turned into a techno-organic skunk; Dark Scream (Guildo in the anime, voiced by Takahashi & Blum), a skilled—but weak—swordsman useful for aerial transport and recon (despite his poor flight skills) that turned into a techno-organic flying squirrel;  and Sky-Byte (Gelshark in the anime, voiced by Konta & Peter Spellos), whose constant need for validation from Megatron often undercut his intelligence and military prowess, and changed into a techno-organic shark..

The Decepticons in vehicle mode being led by Scourge.

Eventually, they were joined by the Decepticons: Autobot protoforms corrupted by the darkness in Megatron’s spark. Along with Scourge (Black Convoy in the anime, voiced by Taitem Kusunoki & Barry Stigler), an evil doppelganger of Optimus (except he turned into a Western Star 4964 EX truck) with ambitions of overthrowing Megatron, there were the Commandos: Mega-Octane (Dolrailer in the anime, voiced by Holly Kaneko & Bob Papenbrook), the cool-headed militaristic leader of the Decepticons that often had to keep hot-headed Scourge at bay, and turned into a flatbed truck with a cannon; Ro-Tor (Hepter in the anime, voiced by Masao Harada & Kaplan), arrogant and smarmy with near-silent flight capabilities and amazing maneuverability in his alternate form as a Kaman Aerospace SH-2 Seasprite helicopter; Armorhide (Danger in the anime, voiced by Kondō & Richard Epcar), an aggressive warrior that liked taking cover under scorching hot sand and could become a Leopard 1A3 MBT tank; Rollbar (Greejeeber in the anime, voiced by Riki Kitazawa & Lindsay), a martial artist with more restraint in combat than his teammates that became a FMC XR311 combat support vehicle; and Movor (Shuttler in the anime, voiced by Hidenori Konda & Robert Axelrod), who was able to rain fire down from orbit with devastating results (however very poor aim), thanks to his ability to become a space shuttle. The Commandos could combine to form the deadly-efficient fighter Ruination (Baldigus in the anime, also Kaneto & Papenbrook).

Koji talking to Optimus.

Other characters included Dorie Dutton (unnamed in the anime, voiced by Mariko Nagahama & Tiffanie Christun, with Fox redubbing 1 episode), who was a reporter that typically found herself in the midst of some robot activity; Carl (Kenta in the anime, voiced by Mariko Nagahama & Joshua Seth) was one of Koji’s friends whose father designed and built industrial machinery; Jenny (Miki in the anime, voiced by Mami Fukai & Colleen O’Shaughnessey), another of Carl’s friends; and Kelly (Junko Shiragami in the anime, voiced by Chieko Higuchi & Philece Sampler), who was a bystander with the running gag of always having the bad luck of having her day derailed by the Transformers’ battles. Kelly was never audibly named on screen in the English dub; instead, her name was revealed on a casting sheet released when the show premiered. However, in the Italian dub of “Secret Weapon: D-5”, she mentioned her name in a moment of self-congratulation. There was also Cerebros (Plasma in the anime, voiced by Masayuki Kiyama & Steve Kramer), a mindless drone that was the key to controlling Fortress Maximus, and Emissary (Brave in the anime), a robot whose only function was to transform into Maximus’ head.

T-AI monitoring the situation.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise debuted on FOX on September 8, 2001 as part of the final line-up of the Fox Kids programming block. Localization was handled by Saban Entertainment, who owned and programmed Fox Kids at the time. The English dialogue was written by Kramer, Epcar, Wyner, McConnohie, Marc Handler and Matthew V. Lewis and largely stuck to the intent of the original. Car Robots was aimed at a much younger audience than Hasbro usually shot for and featured many typical anime light-comedy tropes (exaggerated faces, giant drops of sweat, etc.). Robots in Disguise kept some semblance that humor in place; however more cultural humor was side-stepped and dialogue could differ wildly from the Japanese scripts. Despite being technically a whole-new continuity for the franchise (the very first reboot in its history), Hasbro employee Andrew Frankel often added references to past Transformers series when scripts were submitted for approval; creating some confusion for fans as to where exactly Robots in Disguise fit into established canon (further confused by Takara clarifying where Car Robots fit in to the overall Japanese Generation 1 continuity). New music was composed by Deddy Tzur, Paul Gordon, Glenn Lacey, David Hilker and John Costello, with the international music and theme composed by Shuki Levy and Haim Saban (as Kussa Mahchi).

All-new CGI targeting overlay.

Personalities for some of the characters were entirely reworked. Dark Scream lost his samurai overtones to become more of a thug. Megatron gained a theatrical flair and a tendency to throw tantrums. Rapid Run was changed from a gruff, seasoned warrior into a young, cool dude. Midnight Express went from being kid-like to an older fusspot with an aristocratic air, to name a few. CGI enhancements were made to episodes, including scene transitions based on the original Transformers cartoon and display overlays from the point of view of a character targeting their opponent.

Gaskunk carries away Kelly in her bomb-laden sports car.

Other edits came about as the result of unfortunate timing. Shortly after the series premiered, the United States was hit by the September 11 terrorist attacks. The episode “An Explosive Situation”, which dealt with a terrorist’s bomb, never aired again. “Battle Protocol!”, which featured the destruction of New York City buildings, had those sequences edited out. References to a plutonium energy generator exploding if attacked in “Spychangers to the Rescue” were altered to have the reactor instead threatening to crack open and release a gas harmful to the robots (they also took advantage of the redub to fix a line, add a line and remove a scene where a deflected missile destroys a truck). Additionally, episodes were quickly redubbed to remove any mention of terrorism or similar phrases. The episodes “Attack from Outer Space”, “Landfill” and “Sky-Byte Saves the Day” were deemed unsalvageable and never aired in the United States as a result; first premiering in Canada and the United Kingdom instead. Three clip shows were cobbled together to fill in the holes left by the missing episodes (Car Robots also had three clip show episodes, but Robots in Disguise never used them). As the series was initially airing six days a week, these new edits meant that the episodes aired out-of-order. The afflicted episodes were largely the ones that dealt with the ongoing O-Parts plotline.

Fortress Maximus.

A cute version of Optimus and Megatron were planned for inclusion in the kid-friendly Robot Heroes toyline in 2009, but were ultimately scrapped. Optimus, Prowl, Side Burn, Landfill, Ultra Magnus, Ironhide, Omega Prime and Ruination were included in the Transformers: Universe comic between 2003-04; one of three produced by 3H Productions as part of the Official Transformers Collector’s Club. Based on the toyline of the same name that was rereleases of prior figures from various lines, and was released annually during The Official Transformers Collectors Convention. Two script readings based on those stories were also conducted, with actors from various Transformers franchises reprising their respective roles. Optimus and Prowl made cameo appearances in Dreamwave ProductionsTransformers Armada #17 in 2003, and Optimus alone had a cameo in Transformers: Requiem of the Wreckers Annual from IDW Publishing in 2018. Dreamwave’s 20th Anniversary Transformers Summer Special released in 2004 was an anthology featuring stories from various incarnations, including Robots in Disguise. Through it, readers were given a chance to vote for a Robots in Disguise or Beast Wars mini-series to be published the following year (Beast Wars won the vote, but Dreamwave’s closing kept it from ever being published). The Build Team would appear in a crowd shot of IDW’s Transformers: Lost Light #2 in 2017. Many of the characters would also appear in various entries of the Transformers: Timelines series by Fun Publications and throughout the 2005 IDW continuity.

Megatron vs. Landfill.

Maximum Entertainment, in association with Jetix, released the complete series in the United Kingdom across various volumes. Initially planning to release the series 2-discs at a time, they abandoned the plan after Volume One and released the entire show across two 3-disc sets from 2004-05. In 2007, tying into the release of the live-action film, they released three single-disc sets containing two episodes each, later combining them into one mega pack. The first 2007 release, Battle Protocol, was included in a 3-disc set that included episodes from RoboCop: The Animated Series and M.A.S.K. The second release, Evil Intent, was included in another set with episodes from Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation and Action Man (2000). The original 2004-05 releases were rereleased in 2007 with new artwork; the 2-disc set called Special Edition and the 3-disc sets called Season One and Season Two, respectively. The latter two were combined the following year into the Ultimate Collection.

Galvatron vs. Omega Prime.

Stormovie handled the home media releases in Italy, which included all-new opening and ending themes (the western and Japanese ones were included as special features). The first 16 episodes were released across four volumes in 2005. Episodes 1, 2, 14, 16 and 19 were combined and released as Transformers: Robots in Disguise II Film in 2007. Later, episodes 29-30, 32-33 and 37-39 were combined into Robots in Disguise II Film: Battaglia Finale. As for the United States, Robots in Disguise remains the only American-broadcast Transformers series to not even be partially released to home video. This was likely due to Disney’s acquisition of Fox Family Worldwide from Saban in 2001, which would include their dub of the series. While Saban would later reclaim some of their library from Disney in 2010 and 2012, Robots in Disguise likely wasn’t one of them. It remains the only English-language series not completely owned by Hasbro.


“Battle Protocol! (First Deployment! Fire Convoy)” (4/5/00 JAP, 9/8/01 US) – Koji joins the Autobots in rescuing his father from the Predacons, who kidnap him for his work with energy.
“An Explosive Situation (High-Speed Battle! Gelshark)” (4/12/00 JAP, 9/10/01 US) – Sky-Byte approaches the Predacons with a solution to their power troubles: steal an energy bomb planted in a sports car in the city.
“Bullet Train to the Rescue (Combine! Bullet Train Robo)” (4/14/00 JAP, 9/11 & 9/12/01 US*) – The Predacons target various trainlines with bombs, and Optimus brings in the Autobot Brothers and Team Bullet Train to help stop them.
*Aired earlier in select markets and widely the following day.
“Spychangers to the Rescue (Ninja Robo! The Spychangers Enter)” (4/26/00 JAP, 9/13/01 US) – T-AI calls in the Spychangers to help the Autobots keep the Predacons from making off with a plutonium energy generator.
“The Hunt for Black Pyramid (Resolute Jump! Mach Alert)” (5/3/00 JAP, 9/14/01 US) – The Predacons decide to tap into the underwater Black Pyramid for power just as Koji and Dr. Akase prepare to explore it.
“The Secret of the Ruins (Gigatron’s Raid!)” (5/10/00 JAP, 10/11/01 US) – Megatron launches an attack on the city in order to draw out the Autobots and keep them from interfering in Sky-Byte’s mission at some ancient ruins.
“Sideburn’s Obsession (Speedbreaker’s Crisis!)” (5/17/00 JAP, 9/15/01 US) – The Predacons use Side Burn’s taste in cars to lure him into a trap to serve as bait for a trap for Optimus.
“Secret Weapon: D-5 (Mysterious Weapon! D5)” (5/24/00 JAP, 9/17/01 US) – Stealing a disk from Dr. Onishi leads the Predacons to believe an old steam locomotive has some kind of significance they can take advantage of.
“Mirage’s Betrayal (Counterarrow’s Betrayal!?)” (5/31/00 JAP, 9/18/01 US) – Mirage turns the tables on the Predacons by taking advantage of a listening device the plant on him during a heist.
“Skid Z’s Choice (Out of Control! Indy Heat!)” (6/7/00 JAP, 9/19/01 US) – Assuming his alternate form causes newcomer Skid-Z to become obsessed with racing, necessitating the Autobots to find and fix him.
“Tow-Line Goes Haywire (Parking Violation! Wrecker Hook)” (6/14/00 JAP, 9/20/01 US) – New Autobot recruit Tow-Line is captured by the Predacons and reprogrammed to believe his friends are the enemy.
“The Ultimate Robot Warrior (The Ultimate Extreme! The Large Buddha Statue Transformer)” (6/21/00 JAP, 9/21/01 US) – Believing a movie Transformer is real, the Predacons set out to capture it and add it to their ranks.
“Hope for the Future (Gigatron’s Ambitions Revealed!)” (6/28/00 JAP, 10/26/01 US) – The Autobots review their encounters with the Predacons thus far to try and predict their next target.
“The Decepticons (Friend? Foe!? Black Convoy)” (7/5/00 JAP, 9/22/01 US) – A downed UFO ends up containing 6 protoforms, which the Predacons take and program into their new allies: the Decepticons.
“Commandos (5-Body Combination! Baldigus)” (7/12/00 JAP, 9/24/01 US) – The Decepticons plan to destroy Sherman Dam, and to make Scourge look bad Sky-Byte plans to disguise his team as Autobots to stop him.
“Volcano (En Garde! Two Convoys!)” (7/19/00 JAP, 9/25/01 US) – Megatron sends his minions to investigate a volcano that could be used to make Energon cubes, but a fight between Sky-Byte and Scourge ends up causing an eruption.
“Attack from Outer Space (Aiming from Space! Shuttler!!)” (7/26/00 JAP, 1/12/02 CAN) – Intent on finding the Autobots’ base, Megatron sends Movor into space in place of the actual space shuttle.
“The Test (Awaken to Righteousness! Black Convoy)” (8/2/00 JAP, 9/26/01 US) – The Autobots put the Decepticons to the test when they come around claiming to want to join them.
“The Fish Test (Secret Strategy! Gelshark)” (8/9/00 JAP, 9/27/01 US) – Jealous Scourge scored better in a test than him, Sky-Byte leaks his plans to the Autobots but ends up humiliated when Scourge strikes elsewhere.
“Wedge’s Short Fuse (Hot-Blooded Warriors! Buildmasters)” (8/16/00 JAP, 9/28/01 US) – Wedge makes a deal with Optimus to let the Build Team fight the Predacons, but they all end up falling right into a Predacon trap.
“Landfill (Four-Body Combination! Build King)” (8/23/00 JAP, 6/22/02 UK) – The Decepticons sabotage the Transformer’s Space Bridge so that it will send the Autobots to the wrong locations.
“Sky-Byte Saves the Day (Friend of Righteousness? Gelshark)” (8/30/00 JAP, 6/23/02 UK) – Sky-Byte wants to topple a building for notoriety, but ends up needing to save it when his unintended hostages could land him all of the O-Parts.
“A Test of Metal (Targeted Buildmasters)” (9/6/00 JAP, 9/29/01 US) – The Build Team sabotages the Space Bridge so that they will be the only ones able to fight the Decepticons after being challenged.
“Ultra Magnus (Enter! God Magnus)” (9/13/00 JAP, 10/6/01 US) – Ultra Magnus comes to Earth for Optimus’ Matrix, but ends up saving the Autobot Brothers from a Decepticon ambush instead.
“Ultra Magnus: Forced Fusion! (Forced Combination! God Fire Convoy)” (9/20/00 JAP, 10/13/01 US) – Magnus pretends to come to Optimus’ rescue from the Decepticons but instead attempts to absorb Optimus into himself to get the Matrix.
“Lessons of the Past (Assemble! New Warriors)” (9/27/00 JAP, 12/14/01 US) – Optimus, T-AI and Koji review their past encounters with the Decepticons in order to anticipate their next move.
“The Two Faces of Ultra Magnus (Stalemate! 3 Car Robo Brothers)” (10/4/00 JAP, 10/20/01 US) – Megatron orders Sky-Byte to recruit Magnus to their side, and Magnus accepts…as an Autobot spy.
“Power to Burn! (Invoke! Double Matrix)” (10/11/00 JAP, 10/19/01 US) – Optimus has the Autobot Brothers keep tabs on Magnus while Scourge attempts to recruit him for help in overthrowing Megatron.
“Fortress Maximus (Arise! Cybertron City)” (10/18/00 JAP, 10/27/01 US) – Dr. Onishi discovers a new power source in newly discovered ancient ruins, and the Cybertronians race to claim it first.
“Koji Gets His Wish (JRX Versus Baldigus)” (10/25/00 JAP, 11/3/01 US) – While Optimus and Magnus are busy with Scourge at the ruins, Sky-Byte kidnaps Dr. Onishi to reveal the nature of the power within.
“A Friendly Contest (Gelshark’s Trap)” (11/1/00 JAP, 11/10/01 US) – While competing with Side to see who can find the most O-Part fragments, Wedge is captured and held hostage by Megatron.
“Peril from the Past (The Final Key? Farewell, Ai)” (11/8/00 JAP, 11/17/01 US) – The assembled O-Ring leads the Autobots to the Orb of Sigma, which Dr. Onishi discovers is used to unlock Fortress Maximus.
“Maximus Emerges (Stolen Plasma)” (11/15/00 JAP, 2/16/02 US) – Scourge attempts to pose as Optimus to control Fortress Maxmimus, but it ignores his orders and goes on a rampage through the city.
“The Human Element (The Mystery of Brave Maximus)” (11/22/00 JAP, 2/23/02 US) – Scourge discovers a human component is needed to control Fortress Maximus and uses Kelly’s DNA to finally take control of it.
“Mystery of the Ultra Magnus (Gelshark’s Blues)” (11/29/00 JAP, 3/30/02 US) – The Decepticons review archival footage to find a way to defeat Ultra Magnus.
“Mistaken Identity (Black Convoy’s Ambition)” (12/6/00 JAP, 3/2/02 US) – Carl ends up abducted by the Decepticons when they mistake him for Koji.
“Surprise Attack! (Brave Maximus’s Rise!)” (12/13/00 JAP, 3/9/02 US) – Galvatron leads an attack on the Autobots’ base and possesses a new weapon that may even be too powerful for Maximus.
“Galvatron’s Revenge (Counterattack! Devil Gigatron!)” (12/20/00 JAP, 3/16/02 US) – Galvatron absorbs energy from Maximus and sends duplicates of himself around the world to take children hostage to control future generations.
“The Final Battle (Final Battle! Fire Convoy)” (12/27/00 JAP, 3/23/02 US) – Omega Prime challenges Galvatron to a battle at the Earth’s core while Koji attempts to enlist the aid of the planet’s children to beat him.